Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Betting and World Cup Football 2006

(by Biplob Kishore Deb)
English fans are eagerly waiting for the 25 May to know about the Rooney's injury because his injured leg will be scanned on the day and his fate will be decided. Moreover, fans are also expecting to see some magic from the 17 year-old Theo Walcott, a surprise inclusion in the squad. Yes Fans are eagerly waiting for them but bookies are even more eagerly waiting for them because the participation of players like Rooney and Walcott will attract more people to participate into betting or gambling.

Well, betting is a common phenomenon in the English society but these days it is becoming very important ahead of world cup. There are different kinds of bets on different matters including "Golden Boot" winner, the number of corner kicks in a game, which hair style will be chosen by the England captain David Beckham in Germany etc. Besides these subjects, sometimes people bet on some very interesting topics. For exmaple, a 32 year-old warehouse manager, Mr. Harvey bet with bookmakers William Hill placing £20 on a funny thing that on July 9, his wife, Diana, will give birth their first child and England will win the world cup. The company allotted him an odd of 150/1, interesting isn’t it?

Professor Leighton Vaughan Williams, a senior gambling adviser to the government, told Reuters, "Britain is the world centre for bookmaking, and the world's biggest betting exchanges are based in Britain; that's where most of the money on the World Cup will be spent."

Betting is an every day part of British society but the craze for bet has been started since government excluded vat on the gambler and bookmaker companies. This exclusion of vat and using online bet made a boom in the annual revenue of the industry which has a market size of just 15 billion dollar in 2002 and now it has become 100 billion dollar industry.

Now, people can also bet staying at home through telephone and interactive television. So, betting becomes easier than it was before. In the past, people could bet only before the match but now people have access to bet throughout the match because of online technology.

However, this chance of betting throughout the match, sometimes decreases the probability of a match to be fair. Last year in Germany, a referee Robert Hoyzer was accused of fixing matches in 2 million euro (1.4 million pounds). FIFA launched a new company to detect the suspicious betting pattern.

In this regard, Vaughn Williums said that, "The game is more transaprent than ever before. Everything you do now is monitored. They know where you bet, how much you bet. Before, when it was just in a shop, it could never be controlled. (Cheating) was there before, you just didn't know about it."

What is your view about it?